Lagos: NGO implores media to support women in leadership

The Women’s Right and Health Project (WRAHP), a Non- Governmental Organisation (NGO), on Monday implored the media to support women in raising their voices for more inclusive leadership opportunities in Nigeria.

The Executive Director of WRAPH, Bose Ironsi, who made the call while briefing the media in Lagos, also urged them to support women’s demand for an inclusive and equitable COVID-19 vaccination programme in Nigeria.

According to her, the call comes as the world celebrates International Women’s Day (IWD) on Monday. It is an annual observance on March 8, when the world turns its attention to women.

The theme for IWD 2021 is “Women in Leadership: Achieving an Equal Future in a COVID-19 World.”

Ironsi noted that the annual observance affords women and their supporters an opportunity to draw attention to salient issues involving them and their lives.

The executive director said that the theme for 2021 was apt, as COVID-19 impacted women and girls in profound ways, amplifying the inequalities they faced everyday.

“It is fundamental that diverse women’s voices and experiences are central to national and global recovery plans. A key contributor to a more equal COVID-19 world, is increasing women’s access to leadership roles.

“Unfortunately, women still face significant cultural, socio-economic and political barriers to accessing leadership,” she said.

Ironsi said that in Nigeria, women and girls face these issues associated with access to leadership in addition to the ever present menace of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence.

She said that COVID-19 pandemic greatly amplified the incidence and impact of Gender-Based Violence on women and girls.

“Research shows that women were mostly affected by the social and economic effects of the pandemic especially during the COVID-19 lock-down, when there was a recorded increase in the incidents and rate of occurrence.

“WRAPH, through its Ireti Resource Center, recorded an alarming rate of sexual and gender-based violence in Alimosho, the largest Local Government Area in Lagos State.

“WRAPH through its Increasing Access to Justice Related Social Services Project by the Rule of Law and Anti-corruption (RoLAC) programme handled over 200 cases of social and gender-based violence ranging from battery to child abuse and neglect.

“These cases were provided with support for arrest to filing of cases in court,” Ironsi said.

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